I’m willing to give Jim Hendry a mulligan on the Bradley signing, on one condition, of course.
That being Hendry’s ability to clean-up his own mess.
Clean-up duty, as we all know, never appears as large a job as it truly is, and trading the game’s most recognizable malcontent won’t be easy, either.
Hendry and the Cubs, however, can’t move forward this offseason until they take a step back and trade Milton.
The hot rumor is Bradley to the Rays for Pat ‘the bat’ Burrell.
Such a deal doesn’t fare well on paper for Chicago, but the money is close enough and Tampa showed plenty on interest in Bradley before Hendry came calling with 3-years $30-million.
I know I’d make the move in a second.
It’s true the Cubs don’t have a place to play Burrell, and it’s also true Burrell is coming off a disappointing season with Tampa, but that’s not what a Bradley trade is all about.
What it is, in fact, is preventing an open wound from festering into a winter-long drama.
Thus, the sooner the Cubs make a move the quicker its wounds left by Milton begin to heal.
And if that means swapping Milton for a player without a place to play or eating a large portion of Bradley’s contract, which is also likely, so be it.
Expediting the process also provides Hendry an opportunity to swing another deal at the Winter Meetings, in this case perhaps, slinging Burrell for bullpen help.
Whatever the case, someone has to go…who’s sent packing is on Hendry’s shoulders.